In a bid to ensure food security for Nigeria’s teeming population, the country’s Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Bukar Tijani, has announced a partnership with Brazil on food, poultry production and agricultural technology transfer.

According to the Minister, Nigeria is keen to partner with Brazil, which one of the largest producers of rice in the world, on poultry, rice and soya beans production to meet up with its production in the country.

Speaking in Abuja at the reception of a Brazilian delegation on trade, Bukar said there is need for the government to step up its various programmes on agriculture as Nigerian farmers could only produce two million metric tonnes of rice out of five million metric tonnes presently needed for consumption in the country.

“The total demand of rice in Nigeria is about five million tonnes per annum and our farmers produce just over two million tonnes per annum.”

“Nigeria is a major market itself, we want to borrow a leaf from Brazil to be a major producer, consumer and be the net exporter in the areas where we have comparative advantage. We feel that Brazil has a lot to offer Nigeria that is why we entered the partnership. The key areas that have been discussed dwell much on the transformation agenda of President Jonathan. It is pleasing to know that the trade mission is on rice and poultry productions, we have another interest on soya beans production,” he said.

“The ministry has a Rice Value Chain (RVC) that is charged with the responsibility of how to step-up rice production.”

“Soya bean is also one of our value chains too, which we are looking at to improve in the short, medium and long term.”

Meanwhile, Secretary of Agriculture in the state of Rio Grande Do Sul, and leader of the Brazilian delegation, Luiz Fernando Mainardi, affirmed that the partnership will see Nigeria attains self-sufficiency in agricultural production with the application of technology, to improve its economy.

“We want us to have synergy in marketing, especially in the area of poultry production,” he said.

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